Last week, I spent several days at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. I was able to spend some time working on future sermons and also visit with one of my favorite seminary professors Dr. Andrew Purves. You may remember Dr. Purves as he was our main speaker for our 150th anniversary celebration. We talked about a lot of things, but my main interest was talking to him about how he connects with God. He made this statement to me that I have been pondering. “Steve, when I slow down, take time to rest, honor the Sabbath, I find myself being far more productive.”
In the passages of Scripture for this weekends message, we find Jesus violating the customs of the Sabbath and being chastised for it by the Pharisees. Jesus replies that he is Lord of the Sabbath and reminds the Pharisees that the Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. The Pharisees had instituted a host of requirements which they believed would enable people to honor the Sabbath, but instead, it made people wish the Sabbath never came. There was no rest on the Sabbath, because it took so much energy to keep every requirement.
Not that long ago there were “Blue Laws” which prohibited certain actions on Sundays. These were done to protect Sunday as a day of rest. Most of those laws are now gone, or never enforced, and Sunday is just another day for millions of Americans. The sad fact is that most Americans are far too busy doing and rarely have a time to really rest. Rest is not sleep by the way. Biblical Rest is taking time to honor God through worship and developing relationships with Christ and with people.
We are super busy people. We fill our lives with one activity after another. Do you take time to rest?
Yours in Christ,